Dividing the pie: Maryland lawmakers take on transportation project selection

The Maryland legislature on April 8, 2016 overrode a gubernatorial veto in order to pass a transportation project scoring bill that will rank and ultimately help select major capital projects. The legislation and new ranking system is similar to Virginia’s Smart Scale, which ranks and prioritizes transportation projects throughout the state. Unlike Smart Scale, which was a bipartisan effort with gubernatorial support, Maryland’s effort has hit a major road block, challenged by a lack of critical gubernatorial support.

With trend towards road tolling, demand forecasting critical

As VMT decreases, forecasting demand and toll revenues for new projects is becoming increasingly difficult. DOTs should consider three new factors in traffic forecasting: first, how flat-to-declining VMT will affect revenues collected; second, how the presence of untolled parallel roadways will also impact toll revenue; and third, how driver value-of-time plays into roadway choice, also affecting toll collection.

SSTI’s scenario analysis tool unveiled; will allow DOTs to better engage with land use authorities

Transportation agencies traditionally have to chase land use development, spending scarce funds to provide new roadway capacity, when better land-use patterns could have greatly reduced travel demand. SSTI’s new scenario analysis tool, developed for DelDOT, provides a way for transportation providers to influence land use development for the better.